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Converted 9v Thumb to 18v!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jasonbraatz, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    a HUGE improvement in tone. clear as a bell, still has all the growl but has a fatter low end.

    i HIGHLY recommend this mod to anyone who has a 9v warwick. the preamp works fine at 18v as well. (so far ;) )

    all you have to do is get a 9v battery clip from radio shack, cut the black wire from the existing battery clip in half, and stick the new battery holder in between the two halves, with the red side of the new battery holder going towards the old battery clip. you have to remove the plastic battery storage area to get both batteries to fit in there, but if you use some foam the batteries wont knock around.

    :D :D :D
  2. Is that an all MEC set-up? PU's and everything...?
  3. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
  4. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
  5. that seems odd...?
  6. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    yeah, i saw that. if that was really the case, why wouldn't they change the ss1 and ss2 to be 9 volt as well?

    the pickups sound 10x better at 18v, i a/b'd it many times to be sure.
  7. 8_finger

    8_finger Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I was going to make same mod on my warwick (Fortress One 5, EMG pups, MEC preamp). And I contacted Warwick tech support with following question:
    I have Warwick Fortress One 5 string made in '94. It has MEC electronics (push-pull volume, pickup blend, bass and treble controls) and EMG J pickups. I was thinking to make 18V modification on it. Before I do the modification, I was wondering can my MEC preamp handle 18V current?

    The answer was:
    You would have to change the preamp. The 18 volt system we have is 3 band, so you would need a stacked volume/blend knob as well as treble/mid/bass knobs. The prewired system costs about $300.00 including the concentric knobs.
    Rob Busch/Warwick technical support

    So reading the replie I decided not to make the mod. IMHO 18V mod Warwick5S made will work with thumb and streamer preamps, as for other MEC preamps I'd be more careful. Just my 0.02$.
  8. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i have the same preamp as you do, just with a stacked treble bass knob. the circuitry is the same.

    they never actually answered the question, they jsut said "our 3 band system is 18v and $300 bucks."
  9. Jeez...hard to justify an MEC system at $300 when an Aguilar 18v preamp is only $179. I have had TWO MEC's die in my 'Wicks...stone cold.
  10. Do the Thumb and the Thumb BO contain the same electronics? (Is the Thumb BO also convertible to 18V?)
  11. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    this was done on a thumb bolt-on with 2band/9volt MEC electronics.

    the thumb neck thru already has 18v/3band electronics, until recently when they switched to 9v, 3band electronics. i'd assume you coudl do the same, but don't know for sure
  12. john keates

    john keates

    May 20, 2004
    My BO thumb output clips when I play hard and low, even when in "passive" mode (which I notice doesn't work when there is no battery ?!?). Do you think converting to 18v this way might solve the problem?
  13. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I dunno about your thumb, but the MEC's in my streamer LX are active. No battery, no pickup. Even if you bypass the preamp, it needs a 9v to function.

    Try bypassing the preamp and see if you are still clipping.

    I wonder if running at 18v would damage the active pickups.
  14. ogrossman


    May 20, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Yes, running at 18 volts could possibly be a solution to the clipping problem. As far as the risk of damage, I'm no expert but I'd be more concerned about the active electronics (pre-amp, eq, etc.) than the pickups.
  15. john keates

    john keates

    May 20, 2004
    Yeah, I was thinking the pups must be active. I wouldn't want to risk damaging them but I definitely need to get this fixed or find replacements. Basslines or Delanos or something...

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